Nanaimo’s Vital Signs Report on Housing and Homelessness

Nov 2019 | Housing

To really address Nanaimo’s affordable housing and homelessness crisis, we need to know what we’re up against. The information and data provided by the 2019 Nanaimo Vital Signs report are essential to understanding the health of our city and the depth of the issues we face. 

Here is what we’ve learned from the report, released earlier this month: 


Poverty is increasing:


As of March 2019, Nanaimo had 444 households on the waitlist for subsidized housing. The majority of whom are seniors, families and people with disabilities. 

Almost half (47.4%) of Nanaimo’s renters are spending more than 30% of their income on housing. 

Soaring house prices have made homeownership impossible for many:


The number of people experiencing homelessness in Nanaimo almost doubled between 2016 and 2018.

At the 2018 Point-in-time count, 335 people were found to have no home. That’s 161 more people than in 2016. The next Point-in-time count will be in 2020. 


The number of drug-related deaths in Nanaimo has decreased since the height of the opioid crisis in 2017, however, the number of deaths in 2018 was still higher than before 2017, and higher than the BC average. 

Almost half (47%) of the deaths from drug overdoses in 2017 and 2018 were people under 40 years old and 76% were male. 

Find the full 2019 Nanaimo’s Vital Signs report here.

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